Brains

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Category archives for Brains

The Octopus: Smart, Dumb, Other?

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog while I’ve been off visiting grandparents in other states this past week. But in the meantime, Slate has published a piece I wrote for them on the beguiling mystery of octopus brains. I wonder if this guy would find it enlightening. Update: A couple readers pointed out to…

A couple weeks ago I spoke at Downstate Medical Center in New York about some of my articles in the New York Times that revolve around how the mind evolved. We can learn from bacteria, fruit flies, hyenas, and our own kids. You can now see the whole lecture with surprisingly clear slides on blip.tv.…

The Haphazard Mind

Today on bloggingheads, I talk to Gary Marcus, NYU psychologist and author of the new book Kluge, about all the telling ways in which our minds let us down, and what those shortcomings tell us about how it evolved.

Mental Labyrinth

The Noises in Your Head

My newest “Dissection” column is up at Wired.com. This time around, I take a look at how our brains relay signals. They turn out to do a terrible job. What’s impressive is how they clean up their own mess. Check it out. [Image via Vesalius Gallery] (update 4.4.08 9:30 am: link fixed)

When one of the founders of cognitive neuroscience is helping you plumb the mysteries of consciousness, the self, free will, and the two minds that coexist in our skulls, it helps every now and then to touch your nose. To understand why touching your nose is such a profound experience, check out my talk today…

For years, fellow scienceblogger PZ Myers has taught us all well why we ought to adore squid, octopuses, and other cephalopods. But I came to a new degree of appreciation when I traveled up to Woods Hole to spend some time with the biologist Roger Hanlon. Hanlon studies how cephalopods disguise themselves, and boy do…

That Old Time Complexity

My fellow bloggingheads John Horgan and George Johnson took some time on their latest science talk to dissect my New York Times article on swarms (you can jump to that section here). John wonders if I’m just discovering all the complexity stuff he and George were writing about back in the 1990s. I think it’s…

Rules of the Swarm

Not much blogging this week–I’m heading out to California to receive the National Academies prize I wrote about a while back. In the meantime, let me direct your attention to my lead article in this week’s Science Times section of the NY Times. I wrote about swarms, herds, schools, gaggles, and other crowds of animals,…

Spontaneous Book Club Meetings?

It’s a brave new world for us book authors. Today’s case in point: PZ Myers assigned some of his students to ready my book Soul Made Flesh, which chronicles how humanity figured out what the brain is for. Some of his students have bravely agreed to post their reports on the book on Myers’s blog…